NIA unlikely to take over Mumbai attack probe

January 2nd, 2009 - 8:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha PatilNew Delhi, Jan 2 (IANS) The newly-constituted National Investigation Agency (NIA) that came into force Thursday after President Pratibha Patil gave her nod to its formation is unlikely to probe the Mumbai terror attacks.”At this point when investigations are progressing smoothly under Mumbai’s crime branch and a lot of evidence has come out, we do not want to change horses midstream,” said a home ministry functionary.

The police have already established the identities of the 10 attackers and their respective handlers and with the help of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Scotland Yard agents have gathered evidence on determining the coordinates of the Voice over Internet Protocol calls that were made to the terrorists during the attacks.

“The probe so far seems to be heading in the right direction and at this point there will not be any difficulty in filing the charge sheet within the stipulated time,” the official said.

The federal body constituted to probe and prevent terrorist attacks may, however, say sources, take up some of the other cases like the Samjhauta Express train bombing in 2007, the April 2006 twin blasts at New Delhi’s Jama Masjid and at the shrine of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti at Ajmer in Rajasthan in October last year - that have till date remained unsolved.

“Setting up the NIA is among the raft of measures that was introduced to improve national security after the Mumbai attacks. The real test will be how it will go about its work once its complete charter is spelt out,” said an intelligence official.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram is already on record stating that the name of the NIA director-general would be announced in a few days. He is also expected to share his idea of the functioning of the NIA with chief ministers and state Directors General of Police at a meeting here next week and allay apprehensions regarding the working of the agency.

Many other issues like whether the NIA will have units in states will be discussed during the conclave.

Since the Mumbai attacks Chidambaram has been stressing on accountability, which needs to be fixed, and on an effective feedback system every time threat perceptions are relayed to relevant quarters.

It is also for this reason that he announced large-scale changes to the Multi-Agency Centre (MAC) in the Intelligence Bureau (IB), which is meant to collate intelligence inputs, assess them and disseminate its reports to security forces.

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